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Aon U.K. survey shows employers want increased benefits engagement but need better communications strategy

February 2017

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The annual Benefits and Trends Survey, released in February 2017 by Aon Employee Benefits, the U.K. health and benefits business of Aon plc, reveals that 90% of the 200 employers surveyed want increased employee engagement and understanding of benefits packages.

However, what was telling was that only 36% have a specific communications strategy in place. The survey also shed light on employer actions and intentions.

Aon commented that the staple objectives for implementing flexible benefits are employee engagement, choice and retention. As it remains the best tool to offer choice to employees, flex is thought to have a bright future.

However, it comes as a surprise that governance was one of the lowest-rated objectives, with just 11% judging it important. This needs to change as a lack of governance makes it very difficult to know whether the plan is fit for purpose or if objectives are met. It is also very difficult to prove return on investment. Indeed, a third of respondents weren’t sure how or if they were measuring the success of their plans.

Other key findings:

  • The main objectives for implementing online for flexible benefits are to increase employee engagement (85%), employee choice (76%) and retention (67%)
  • The lowest rated objective – governance, at 11% – makes it difficult for employers to understand whether a given plan is fit for purpose or whether objectives are met.
  • One-third of respondents said they could not judge whether their plan had delivered against objectives as they were not measuring this outcome.

The most popular benefits present on flex plans this year were childcare vouchers (88%), cycle to work schemes (79%), and pensions (70%), whereas last year, cycle to work schemes were the most popular at 87%, followed by buying/selling holidays (72%), and dental insurance (71%).

Industry professionals in a wide range of HR roles across the U.K. responded to the survey.

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